Introspection: Accepting Who I Am

And ye shall be holy men unto me. . . 
                                          -Exodus 22:31 

    For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a childsubmissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.  -Mosiah 3:19

Monday, January 12, 2015

Dear Parents, Mom and Dad/Dad and Mom,

I am getting the picture, or at least the message God seems to be sending me. I have had you, wife of the members upstairs, and our single mother investigator tell me, in essence, the same thing. Everyone has been telling me the same thing. I have a lot of potential, yet I do not see it.

I have changed a lot and not into the person I had envisioned myself at the very beginning. At one time, I envisioned a person who was a person who could be a talker, a person who can be noticed. Yet, through the mission, I have accepted that I am not a talker. In fact, I love to be quiet. Quiet, to me, gives me an anchor, a place inside myself to pray to God and to rely on God. I love to listen. I have learned that I have a strong, stalwart soul. I am a person with determination with gentleness in heart. I often thought it was weakness, but it is strength. I am a man of belief. I love reading the Law of Moses, not only because of the aspect of law, but also of the moral principles that extend to principles of the higher law. When I say a man of belief and then discuss the law of Moses, I point the fact that I look for moral principles, a cause to defend religion in general. I hope this all makes sense.

I do have lots of knowledge. I rather not brag that I am smart. I have much more to learn. I have felt shunned because I have knowledge.

I am serious about changing my music that I like to hear. I am absolutely in love with Bollywood, folk songs from different cultures, operas, musicals, music from 30's and 40's and some from the 50's, and the other things. I know I will have to watch less shows than I did when I was home. Yes, television has been, in the past, time to take a breather from stress. I will have to watch less now. I have to strike that balance. I have to make sure I read my scriptures. I have to make sure I pray often. I have to make sure that I am obedient. I have realized how I am dependent on God and I cannot lose the relationship I have with Him.

I am afraid to offend you. I made mistakes before and I have been yelled at for them. I do not respond to yelling and I cannot stand yelling. I cannot stand the fighting that goes on. I have been afraid to tell you that I have lost things on the mission. But, here it goes. I lost the hats that I had; I am mad about losing the hat I got last year. But, this year I received ear muffs and they will do. I think the worst that you would see, but what I learned to be a blessing, is that I lost my electric shaver charger. Yeah, I did. But, the good news I use a manual razor now, which is quite excellent. It allows me to remove my finer hairs on my face, which the electric shaver could not get, no matter how much force I put into it. So, blessing in disguise; no more peach face. (Yes there has been discord at home. At times, he has made some upsetting mistakes but nothing of a serious nature. There are things we wish he could do better. There are things, so many things he has accomplished and done well. He is absolutely right about the razor. Getting rid of the peach fuzz with a razor blade is a dream come true. No more baby face. Ear muffs won't do. We will expect that he keeps his entire head warm in Virginia's cold weather.)

So, now these deep feelings have gone out and I have confessed what I have lost, it is due time to tell you a few important items. I found those different language Book of Mormon books in the apartment here. Oh, did you look at the audio book? Did you see the letter? I am not concerned, I find it interesting. Now, for the main item of business. Yes, I am being transferred. And so is my companion. Yep, it has happened again. So, where I go, I will find out tomorrow.

Monday, after our P-day, we had a lesson with a man who we had not seen in a month. He was asleep when we knocked, but he allowed us to come in. We taught the Plan of Salvation. He seemed alright with the ideas and concepts. He did not object, but it seemed evident by his conduct at the end, when he gave his two cents. I do not remember what he said.

Tuesday, we saw the recent convert who lives down in King William. My companion and him get along, a lot. So, when we were teaching him one of the new member lessons, he and my companion went off into many tangents. Some about orange juice, some about tomatoes. The recent convert is an excellent man and he has a great understanding of the gospel. He definitely is hungering after the word. Our appointment that night with the man who I am still wondering how much he understands fell through. But, he progressed last week, which was great. He remembered concepts, which is a step in the right direction. We were able to find that out through some questions we asked. (An important step in teaching as well as conversion is to check for understanding and if necessary to reteach. This hopefully will avoid future misunderstandings.)

Wednesday, we had district meeting. I shared a spiritual thought from Exodus 22:31 and connected it to Mosiah 3:19. To me, it spoke about the contrast of the holy and carnal, which is greatly expounded in
Mosiah 3:19. (Side note: I love the law of Moses. It is great. I realize that is a very just form of law, but couple it with human nature, you receive a law that can easily fall into error. To me, in order for the judges or rulers to use this law, they have to rely and have dependence on God.)

We moved furniture into a new apartment here in Tappahannock for the branch is about to receive Spanish speaking missionaries. (English speaking missionaries will replace us.) That took some time. We went from there to home to an appointment we had in Warsaw (the sisters handed somebody to us) and then to the church for the appointment fell through. We were able to check on the person who is on date. He had come home from the hospital, but the very next day, he went back for tests for about ten days. He did have a stroke and his eyesight is blurry. He was weak when we saw him. He could not read, but I remembered that we had the Book of Mormon on CD. So we went to retreive it and gave it to him. The senior couple gave him a discman to use.

Thursday, we did not have much success this day.

Friday, we planned. All day. We decided that we would do a more effective planning session, so that we would have more effective lessons. Well, we will not see the results of it, but I loved doing it.

Saturday, we saw our investigator who I am not sure how much he understands. We taught him some more things. He is actually deciding which church he needs to go to. He is progressing. We saw our single mother investigator with some members. It was a great lesson for the most part of it. We taught her about discipleship. We had a good discussion. We felt as though we resolved her concern about hyprocrisy in churches in general. Then, she turned the tables on me. My companion and I did not know what to do. It was awkward. How did she do that? Well, she started discussing myself, about how I have great potential. She said that I would adjust well while my companion would have a hard time. We received our calls while at her house.

Sunday. My companion and I gave a talk. We were given this assignment on Saturday at 6:00 at night.  I wrote mine out, at least to how much I could write out. I did not have a lot of time to construct much. We were assigned to talk on missionary work. (Surprising, right?) More importantly, member missionary work.

I decided to write my talk as if I was in a one on one conversation. I told them that they were the same as I, but they had a power greater than I. I told them to expect miracles and to have courage. Then, I told them three examples from White Oak, Powhatan, and Appomattox involving three of my investigators and member missionary efforts. I told them they had the power of being a friend, of being an example. I invited them to invite their friends, coworkers, and if all options were exhausted, then pray for missionary opportunities. I invited them to get to know our investigators and to invite them into their homes. It was good.

Not much happened that day. We spent a lot of time with the members upstairs.

Alles wohl!


Elder S. Todd

No comments: